Vasantrao Naik Shetkari Swavalmban Mission (VNSSM), a state government agency on farmers, has mooted a project to market Yavatmal’s own brand of dal. The plan will be implemented through a donation of Rs25 lakh, given by Mumbai-based NGO — Grand Maratha for Baliraja Chetana Abhiyan. The Abhiyan is a drive undertaken in the farmers’ suicide prone district. Various steps to prevent farmers from ending their lives due to distress are being undertaken through the campaign.
The NGO will be setting up a facility for processing, packaging and marketing the pulses grown in the district through the amount it has committed. Cooperatives constituting mainly widows of farmers who have committed suicides will be formed. A single unit may would be made by clubbing 10 villages. There are plans to cover at least 200 villages.
Grand Maratha is a NGO formed by UK-based NRI businessman Rohit Shelatkar. The processing unit is planned to be set up at Pandharkavda town of Yavatmal district. A pilot project, it will be run by the NGO. Even other farmers may be allowed to sell their produce. The profits from selling the pulses will be shared with the cooperatives. There are plans to export the pulses and eventually start a similar venture with cotton too, Tiwari told TOI.
Pulses are among the major crops grown in the district. However, there is no facility to add value to the produce. Under the project the raw pulses will be processed, packed and marketed under a brand, he said.
This article was first published on Times of India on Jul 17, 2017. Link to the original article: Plans to market Yavatmal’s own brand of dal